TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Should Model S have a solar panel?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Beckler, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. Beckler

    Beckler Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2012
    Messages:
    366
    Location:
    Canada
    Was wondering if it would be a useful option but a quick calculation shows probably not. Assuming you could get 150W from covering the roof with a flexible panel, that's roughly 1 mi. of range for every 2 hours in full sun. :biggrin: But I suppose in an emergency it could be useful!
     
  2. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Messages:
    4,592
    Location:
    Nixa, Missouri, United States
    Maybe to maintain the 12v battery it would have a small benefit, but at a pretty high cost.


    Evan, Via Tapatalk
     
  3. strider

    strider Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2,920
    Location:
    NE Oklahoma
    It's a gimmick on the Karma. The weight and cost would negate any benefit. I would rather have the glass sunroof.
     
  4. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Messages:
    14,792
    Location:
    CA CA
    And the Leaf.
     
  5. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Messages:
    15,914
    Location:
    Stanford, California
    A small solar panel (as on the Leaf) can have the benefit of maintaining the 12V battery and exchanging the cabin air when it's sunny out. The solar panel on the Karma is primarily for cosmetic reasons.
     
  6. Rodolfo Paiz

    Rodolfo Paiz P85 "Plug and Play"

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    Messages:
    681
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    I don't think the technology is yet to the point where it's an easy snap-in, and the weight/cost value proposition isn't there in my eyes considering how little time many of these cars will spend "in full sun." I'm betting that a very large percentage of these cars will live in garages and only collect sunlight while they're out running errands, so the solar panel is not a good investment.

    I'd rather put the solar panels on the house, and have them working hard all the time.
     
  7. Ardie

    Ardie Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Messages:
    161
    Sunlight is pretty weak. You need a large amount of surface area to collect enough sunlight to do anything useful. There's a reason mother nature never made plants that could run around.

    The square footage on the car's roof isn't enough to run the car's heater or air conditioner, but it may be enough to run them in some sort of reduced capacity mode.
    Anyway, it ought to be enough power to run a circulating pump for the battery coolant, or cabin ventilation fan, or a Wi-Fi connection.
    The best use might be a way to keep the battery from dying completely (aka: "bricking"), but it isn't guaranteed to work if you keep it a dark garage...

    -- Ardie
     
  8. kinddog

    kinddog Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    564
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    And the Prius.

    - - - Updated - - -

    exactly. they know this thing will be indoors when not driving. it would push the expense of the Tesla even higher.

    that said, i wish for the standard roof they put two little air-flow humps on it (a la Prius). that would look badass.
     
  9. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    4,266
    As others have noted, too little surface area and too much cost. I suggest reading this excellent analysis of why cows aren't solar powered :), it humorously covers similar analysis.
    Green Cows
     
  10. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,762
    Location:
    Texas
    The one on the Prius adds $1500 and just runs a fan to keep the car close to ambient when parked. Not even remotely worth it in my opinion. Keeping the window open a small amount accomplishes the same thing for free.
     
  11. 100thMonkey

    100thMonkey Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    914
    Location:
    Seattle area
    it's a nice fashion statement but the real place for PV is on one's roof at home!
     
  12. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    15,852
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    To me solar cells on a car says "greenwashing". It's faux green. We all know the panels that size don't make enough energy to do much of anything, and you have to carry the weight around.
     
  13. bosgig

    bosgig Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    Metro Boston
    I think a crank on the side would come in really handy! :biggrin:

    Crank.PNG

    I joke. . .actually I was wondering the same thing (although it would mess up the pano!)
     
  14. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
    Messages:
    15,487
    Cue link to post of Fisker review which talks about "500 years parked in direct sunlight 24x7 in Arizona" (and still not worth it) or whatever it was.
     
  15. derekt75

    derekt75 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    592
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Am I the only one that parks my car in the sun outside my office 5 days a week?

    Regardless, a 25 W panel might cost $100 and generate maybe 25kWh (75 miles) of electricity over a year. Even at PG&E's punitive $0.34/kWh, that's still not great.
    Panels on my roof are cost effective because you can get them cheaper when you buy big heavy panels, and they produce more power when they're always outside. Also, I can sell electricity to PG&E at the daytime rate and charge my EV at their night time rate (well, assuming Model S will have some kind of charge timer at some point).
     
  16. pilotSteve

    pilotSteve Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2012
    Messages:
    582
    Location:
    Vancouver WA
    Plus with solar cells on your roof (implying your car is then in the shade) you will save battery on cooling! Its hard to estimate but my guess is that a car sized solar panel would not even generate enough power to take the heat out of the interior! External cells are a triple win: (a) bigger surface area, more power (c) not carried around with you, added weight and (c) your car stays cooler (or snow free for the winter set) without using battery for temp control!
     
  17. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Messages:
    10,119
    Location:
    Central New York
    Two words: Vampire Load. 100 watt's worth of solar panel would counter a large portion of the S vampire load and would allow a much longer airport parking situation without much capacity loss.
     
  18. Rodolfo Paiz

    Rodolfo Paiz P85 "Plug and Play"

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    Messages:
    681
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Seven words: still not worth the costs and tradeoffs. :)
     
  19. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Messages:
    10,119
    Location:
    Central New York
    Depends if you come back from a long trip and don't have enough range to get where you want to go. Then it's priceless :wink:
     
  20. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    Messages:
    18,235
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    The drain should be down to 2 miles a day now. If that's too much, you're probably gone for a really long time and should either find a place with a least a 110V outlet or take a taxi to the airport and leave it plugged in at home. I'd rather have the pano roof that a solar panel that is rarely needed.
     

Share This Page